7 Rea­sons Why You’re Still Broke

Suss out the cash traps you’ve fallen into and, more im­por­tantly, how to es­cape them.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - SMART REPORT -

1 You Don’t Di­rect De­posit Your Earn­ings

“Ask your em­ployer to pay five to 10 per cent of your salary into an­other ac­count to re­move temp­ta­tion,” ad­vises Ni­cole Can­non, fi­nan­cial ex­pert and di­rec­tor of Pink Fi­nance. That way, you won’t no­tice it’s gone and will soon have a nice plump pile of sav­ings.

2 You blame your friends for mak­ing you broke

Try­ing to keep up with your friends’ cham­pagne life­style when you’re on a budget will crip­ple your fi­nances. Com­pro­mise by sug­gest­ing budget-friendly out­ings in­stead of ex­pen­sive ones. “Catch up with friends over lunch or cof­fee at a lo­cal cafe or have a night in,” Can­non says.

3 You’re Eas­ily Suck­ered In

With depart­ment stores and on­line out­lets of­fer­ing spe­cial deals 24/7, it can be hard to sort the bar­gains from the blowouts-in-dis­guise. Avoid get­ting sucked in by re­search­ing whether you’re ac­tu­ally sav­ing in the long run. “Some women seek out bar­gains, know­ing they don’t re­ally need what they’re buy­ing. Ask yourself – do I want this or do I need it? Think about what else you could be do­ing with the money,” Ja­nine Cox, fi­nan­cial ex­pert for Wealth Within.

4 You Spend On “Aver­age” Rather Than “Awe­some”

In­stead of sav­ing for a state­ment piece for your wardrobe or a re­lax­ing hol­i­day, you’re a sucker for cheap, sea­sonal buys. Pur­chas­ing throw­away items might tick the short-term sat­is­fac­tion box but it isn’t nearly as re­ward­ing as sav­ing up and spend­ing your cash on some­thing spe­cial. “Think of qual­ity cloth­ing and hol­i­days as in­vest­ments,” ex­plains Can­non. “Hol­i­days give you mem­o­ries to last a life­time and good clothes sell you.”

5 You’re not smart at pay­ing bills

It can be dif­fi­cult jug­gling debt, re­pay­ments, and credit card bills while try­ing to stay afloat fi­nan­cially. Cox rec­om­mends or­gan­is­ing a billing sys­tem so you don’t get overwhelmed. “Keep your bills to­gether and or­der them ac­cord­ing to the due date. Re­view them ev­ery week and find out whether you can ex­tend the due date with­out penalty to buy yourself more time,” she says.

6 You’re sell­ing yourself short

Un­for­tu­nately, ex­celling at your job doesn’t guar­an­tee a pay rise. If you be­lieve your salary should re­flect your abil­i­ties, ar­range a time to speak to your boss about a pos­si­ble pay in­crease. “Do your re­search and pre­pare some rea­sons to jus­tify the cost to your em­ployer. Get a feel for what your time is worth by ring­ing as­so­ci­a­tions re­lated to your field to know whether the rise you’re ask­ing for is real­is­tic,” Cox en­cour­ages. If you don’t ask, you won’t get!

7 You can’t stop at buy­ing just one thing

It’s easy to think, “What’s one more pur­chase?” when you’re buy­ing up big. But small amounts can eas­ily add up, leav­ing you with zero un­til pay day. “To pre­vent a spend­ing binge, have a set amount in your ac­count the next time you go shop­ping and trans­fer the rest into an on­line ac­count so you can’t ac­cess it if you get car­ried away,” sug­gests Can­non.

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